Tessa Davis joins the JLMC team as our new Uganda Country Director.
Just Like My Child Foundation is thrilled to welcome Tessa Davis to the family as our new Uganda Country Director! Tessa’s U.S. background and Ugandan experience is a powerful combination that will serve the foundation well.
Here’s a message from Tessa that will help you understand just what an awesome asset she is going to be for our Uganda team:
“My name is Tessa Davis and I am here on the ground at the Bishop Asili Health Clinic in Uganda working as a consultant for the Just Like My Child Foundation.
I first came to Uganda in March of 2006, with the Peace Corps and underwent an intensive eleven-week program that included cultural, technical, language and health and safety training. During this time I lived with a Luganda speaking Ugandan host family, who gave me an opportunity to practice the local language and begin the process of cross-cultural adjustment and acclimation to life in Uganda.
They also gave me one of their female clan names “Nambooze,” which is the name that most Ugandans call me by. I was recently told by a member of the Bishop Asili Community Outreach Team that the name derives from a word in Luganda meaning ….”Not one to pout, a friendly and social activist.”
Once my training was complete, I began my two-year Peace Corps service in a tiny village not far from Bishop Asili called Kiwoko. I learned to live as a Ugandan lives, with no electricity or running water. Reading by the light of a gas lantern at night and collecting my water from a bore hole to be poured in a basin for bathing and boiled for drinking. I became skilled in the art of washing clothing by hand and baking over a local charcoal stove.
My Ugandan counterpart and I spent the two years developing and implementing plans focusing on key areas of school improvement and staff development for the primary schools that surround Kiwoko. As a secondary project I worked with the Kiwoko Community to develop a library and engaged in many discussions about the importance of literacy and establishing a reading culture. My counterpart and I worked with teachers to train youth, educators and communities in life skills that will help them lead more productive, positive and disease free lives through various workshops, one on one interactions as well as music, dance and drama festivals.
Much of our work with schools was done in Luwero District, which is how I came to know the sisters at Bishop Asili and ultimately came to know Vivian Glyck, the founder of Just Like My Child.
I have found my experience in Uganda to be both extremely fulfilling, as well as challenging, offering much in the way of professional experience and providing a real opportunity to integrate into a culture that is very different from my own.
The Just Like My Child Foundation has asked me to utilize my Ugandan experience and expertise in order to facilitate the implementation of their projects in the most culturally appropriate way. I am so pleased to be in the unique position of acting as a bridge between my own American culture that I know so well and the Ugandan culture that I’ve come to love, understand and am still learning new things about every day.”
Meet our entire Uganda Team here:
About Just Like My Child Foundation: Since its founding in 2006, Just Like My Child Foundation has developed deep partnerships with rural communities in Africa to deliver sustainable programs that address health care, education, microenterprise, social justice, and women/girls’ empowerment. Through that work, JLMC organically came to understand that focusing on vulnerable adolescent girls is a powerful approach to disrupting the cycle of poverty. Today, Just Like My Child Foundation is focused on its mission to empower vulnerable adolescent girls by enabling them to create healthy, self-sustaining families who prosper without further aid.